Unraveling the Magic of Weighted Kegel Balls: Your Guide to Strengthening the Pelvic Floor
The Power of Kegel Balls
If you've ever felt the need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, chances are you've heard of kegel balls. These intriguing little devices, sometimes known as "love balls" or "ben wa balls", have gained popularity for their role in enhancing sexual pleasure and helping with certain health conditions. In this guide, we'll delve deep into the world of kegel balls, their benefits, and how to use them effectively.
Understanding the Pelvic Floor
At its core, the pelvic floor is a set of muscles stretching from the front to the back of your pelvis. It plays a pivotal role in supporting organs like the bladder, uterus, and intestines. For many, the strength of the pelvic floor muscles can diminish over time due to factors like childbirth, age, and weight gain. This weakening can lead to conditions like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and discomfort during intimate activities.
Enter kegel balls! These weighted devices are specially designed to provide a resistance against which the vaginal muscles can contract and relax, effectively acting as weights for your pelvic muscles.
Why Use Kegel Balls?
- For Pelvic Floor Exercise: Kegel balls aren't just about sexual pleasure. They are a kegel ball exerciser. When used regularly, they can strengthen the pelvic muscles, making it easier to hold in urine, enhance sensations during intimate activities, and even alleviate symptoms of conditions like stress urinary incontinence.
- Enhanced Sensual Experience: As pleasure balls, they're also known for amplifying sexual arousal. The sensation of having a ball inwards can be quite stimulating, building anticipation for more intimate moments.
- Physical Therapy: After childbirth or surgery, many women turn to kegel ball exercises as a form of physical therapy. They help in retraining and strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles, bringing them back to their prime.
Choosing and Preparing Your Kegel Balls
When looking to buy kegel balls, consider their weight and size. The Amyris collection, for instance, offers three different sizes and weights, catering to beginners and experienced users alike. If you're new to this, starting with a larger and lighter ball might be your best position.
Before using kegel balls, it's crucial to prepare them. Wash them thoroughly with warm water and mild soapy solution or an antibacterial soap. Products like the Organic Simply Lubricant can help in steadily inserting the kegel ball into the vagina, ensuring a smooth experience.
Basic Techniques for Kegel Ball Exercises
- Finding Your Starting Position: Begin by standing with your feet hip distance apart. If standing is uncomfortable, a comfortable squat or lying down can be a good position too.
- Insertion: With a generous amount of lubricant, slowly insert the ball into the vaginal opening. Ensure it's positioned comfortably, with the retraction loop hanging outside for easy retrieval later.
- Contract and Relax: Once the ball is in place, contract your pelvic muscles, holding for a few seconds, then relax. This action, known as a kegel exercise, helps train the muscles. Aim for up to three sets daily, but always listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort or severe pain, it's essential to rest and reconsider your technique.
Advanced Kegel Ball Techniques and Tips
Taking Your Kegel Exercises to the Next Level
Once you're comfortable with the basic kegel ball exercises, challenge your pelvic floor muscles further by incorporating different movements:
- Squeeze and Hold: Instead of quick contractions, try squeezing the muscles and holding the contraction for longer periods. Begin with 5 seconds and gradually work your way up.
- Movement: With the kegel ball inserted, try walking, climbing stairs, or even attending a yoga class. These activities engage different parts of your pelvic muscles, offering a more comprehensive workout.
- Intimate Rose Variations: Using the intimate rose collection or other similar weighted kegel balls can add variety to your routine, ensuring your vaginal muscles get a diverse range of exercises.
Care and Maintenance of Your Kegel Balls
Proper care extends the life of your kegel balls and ensures safety:
- Clean After Every Use: Always wash your kegel balls post-use. Warm water and a mild soap or an antibacterial solution like the Simply Toy Cleaner will do the trick. Let them air dry, or pat them down with a clean towel.
- Store in a Dry Place: It's essential to store kegel balls in a cool, dry place. Consider using dedicated storage bags to keep them clean and free from contaminants.
- Regularly Check for Wear and Tear: Over time, your kegel balls, especially if they're made of silicone set or lightweight plastic, can show signs of wear. Regularly inspect them and replace if needed.
While kegel balls offer numerous benefits, it's crucial to prioritize safety:
- Limit Wear Time: Avoid wearing the kegel balls for lengthy periods. Aim for short sessions, especially when starting out.
- Listen to Your Body: If you experience any discomfort or pain while using kegel balls, stop immediately. It might indicate that the weight is too heavy, or the exercise technique needs adjustment.
- Avoid During Certain Conditions: If you have conditions like severe pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse in advanced stages, or any infections, consult with a healthcare professional before using kegel balls.
Diving Deeper: Understanding Variants of Kegel Balls
Ben Wa Balls vs. Geisha Balls vs. Venus Balls
The world of kegel balls is vast, with different types available:
- Ben Wa Balls: Traditional solid balls, usually made of metal or glass. They're weighted and can be worn without any string or retrieval loop, relying on vaginal muscles to hold them in.
- Geisha Balls: Similar to Ben Wa, but often made of silicone or rubber. They might contain smaller balls inside that jiggle, providing extra stimulation.
- Venus Balls: Typically larger and hollow, with a smaller ball inside to create a vibrating effect. Great for those looking to add a sensual dimension to their exercises.
The Science Behind Kegel Exercises
Regular kegel exercises have proven health benefits. Let's explore the science:
- Combatting Urinary Incontinence: Strengthening the pelvic floor can reduce episodes of urinary incontinence, a condition where one leaks urine involuntarily. This condition can result from weak pelvic muscles, especially after childbirth.
- Bowel Movements: Kegel exercises can also improve control over bowel movements by fortifying the associated muscles.
- Enhanced Pleasure: Stronger vaginal muscles can lead to intensified sensations during intimate moments, leading to increased sexual pleasure.
- Postpartum Recovery: After childbirth, the pelvic floor can be significantly weakened. Kegel exercises help restore strength and functionality to these crucial muscles.
The Right Way to Use Kegel Balls: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Preparation: Clean your kegel balls using warm water and mild soapy solution. Once cleaned, apply a generous amount of lubricant, such as the Organic Simply Lubricant, for smooth insertion.
- Insertion: Find a comfortable position, either standing or squatting. Gently push the ball into the vaginal opening. Ensure the retrieval or retraction loop remains outside for easy removal.
- Exercise: Begin by squeezing your pelvic muscles around the ball. Try holding the squeeze for several seconds, then release. As you progress, increase the duration of the squeeze.
- Removal: Use the retrieval loop to gently pull the ball out. If your kegel ball doesn't have a loop, a gentle push like you're having a bowel movement can help in easing it out. Ensure you wash your kegel balls after every use.
When to Seek Professional Guidance
While kegel balls can be beneficial, there are times when professional intervention is necessary:
- Persistent Pain or Discomfort: If you consistently feel discomfort, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider.
- Unsure of Techniques: If you're uncertain about how to use kegel balls or if you're doing the exercises correctly, consider seeking guidance from a physical therapist specializing in pelvic health.
- Medical Conditions: Those with severe pelvic conditions, recent surgeries, or infections should always get a doctor's opinion before starting with kegel exercises.
Selecting the Right Kegel Balls for You
Materials and Types
It's crucial to select kegel balls that suit your body and needs. Here are factors to consider:
- Material: Kegel balls are available in various materials like silicone, stainless steel, glass, and even jade. While silicone is most popular due to its flexibility and comfort, metal or glass balls provide a different sensation and can be weightier.
- Size and Weight: Start with lighter and larger balls like the Amyris collection, especially if you're a beginner. As your pelvic muscles strengthen, you can progress to smaller, heavier balls.
- With or Without Retrieval Loop: Some balls come with a retrieval loop for easy removal, while others, like traditional Ben Wa balls, do not. Decide based on your comfort and experience level.
Advanced Techniques for Enhanced Benefits
The Power of Combined Movements
Incorporate these advanced techniques into your routine for maximum benefits:
- Dynamic Movements: Instead of static exercises, try lunges or squats with the kegel balls inserted. The dynamic nature of these exercises challenges your pelvic floor differently.
- Adding Weights: As you progress, consider incorporating kegel weights into your routine to intensify the challenge.
- Using Multiple Balls: Some women use more than one ball at a time, increasing the weight and engaging more of the vaginal canal.
Caring for Your Body During Kegel Exercises
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking water aids muscle function and recovery. Ensure you're well-hydrated before and after your exercises.
- Listen to Your Body: While it's good to challenge yourself, never push to the point of pain. If you experience any discomfort, take a break.
- Regular Rest Days: Like any exercise, your muscles need time to recover. Ensure you're giving your pelvic muscles adequate rest between intense sessions.
The Long-term Impacts of Regular Kegel Exercises
- Improved Bladder Control: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can lead to better control over your bladder, reducing instances of urinary incontinence.
- Enhanced Intimate Moments: As your vaginal muscles become stronger, you might find increased sensitivity and pleasure during intimate activities.
- Reduced Risk of Pelvic Organ Prolapse: A strong pelvic floor can offer support to the internal organs, reducing the risk of them descending into the vaginal canal, a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse.
- Boosted Confidence: Many women report feeling more confident and in tune with their bodies after incorporating regular kegel exercises into their routines.
FAQs About Kegel Balls
- Do weighted Kegel balls work?
- Absolutely! Weighted kegel balls provide resistance, helping to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles over time when used correctly and consistently.
- What are the benefits of weighted Kegel balls?
- They aid in strengthening pelvic muscles, alleviating conditions like urinary incontinence, enhancing sexual pleasure, and aiding post-childbirth or surgery recovery.
- What weight is best for Kegel balls?
- Start light, especially if you're new. As your muscles strengthen, you can gradually increase the weight.
- Do doctors recommend Kegel weights?
- Many healthcare professionals recommend kegel weights as part of pelvic floor therapy. However, always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.